Department of Sport and Exercise Science celebrates 10 years at Aberystwyth.

A decade of Sport and Exercise Science

30 May 2012


L to R: Gerald Davies CBE, Dr Joanne Thatcher, Professor April McMahon and Dafydd Jones.


Gerald Davies CBE, one of the greatest wing three-quarters ever to grace a rugby pitch, and former Scarlets and Wales flanker, Dafydd Jones, were the guests of honour at a gala dinner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Department of Sport and Exercise Science on Saturday 26 May.

Returning nine years after opening the Department’s purpose built Carwyn James building, named after the Aberystwyth graduate and coach of the famously victorious 1971 Lyons tour of New Zealand, Gerald Davies paid tribute to the work of the Department and the University.

Addressing an audience of current and former staff and students, members of the local sporting community and research partners from the NHS, he spoke of the importance of sport as part of a university education and of its role in maintaining a civilised society.

Giving what was described by the head of Sport and Exercise Science, Dr Joanne Thatcher, as “the alternative Gregynog Lecture”, Aberystwyth born Dafydd Jones spoke of how rugby had changed over the years.

Taking questions from the audience, Jones reflected on the ever increasing physicality of the modern game, the introduction of science based training regimes that include the use of cryogenic chambers, and of having to retire early after undergoing surgery to rebuild his right shoulder on three separate occasions.

Speaking after the event, Dr Joanne Thatcher, Head of the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, said: “This was an event to celebrate everything that has been achieved by the Department over the past 10 years. The focus of the evening may have been on sport, but it is important to acknowledge the contribution colleagues are making in areas such as health and how exercise plays such an important role in improving people’s everyday lives – from living with diabetes to improving balance and avoiding falls in elderly people.”

Amongst those in attendance were Professor Jo Doust, the Department’s first Head of Department, and Mrs Penny Barrett, whose late husband, Professor John Barrett, played such an important role as Acting Head during the Department’s formative years.

Gerald Davies joins 10th Birthday Celebration

24 May 2012

The Department will open its doors to the public on Sunday morning between 10am-12pm (27 May) to celebrate itstenth anniversary, which also coincides with the Olympic Torch celebrations at Aberystwyth.

As well as a tour and providing demonstrations of the laboratories, the Department will also welcome the former Welsh International and British Lion, Gerald Davies CBE and ex-Welsh International, Dafydd Jones to a formal dinner and Lecture on Saturday 26 May.

Bioscience nets £13m

24 May 2012

Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, will today announce substantial funding for bioscience research in the UK which includes £13m for the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University.

Capturing carbon

24 May 2012

The management of the Welsh uplands to conserve historic stocks of carbon and future carbon storage whilst promoting economic development will be discussed by scientists, conservationists, land managers and economists at Aberystwyth University on Friday 25 May.

falls conference and networking event

23 May 2012

The Department, in collaboration with the Ceredigion Strategic Falls Group, Hywel Dda will host a falls conference and networking event on June 18th in th Mail Hall in Interpol on the Pengais Campus. The event is open to anyone with an interest in falls including medical and care professionals and members of the public.

Fascination of Plants Day

17 May 2012

Celebrating the wonder of plants, 9.30 am to 6 pm, Friday 18 May 2012, Botany Gardens, Penglais, Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth University opens new £6.8m National Plant Phenomics Centre

14 May 2012

Today, Monday 14 May 2012, the new National Plant Phenomics Centre, which features the most advanced research greenhouse in the UK, will be formally opened at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences.

Department publishes article in Western Mail

09 May 2012

On the 3rd May an article about vitamin D, co-written by two memebers of the Sport and Exercise Science Department was published in Western mail.

Postgraduate student awarded travel grant

09 May 2012

Robert Morris a postgraduate student in the Sport and Exercise Science Department has been awarded a travel grant to attend the Signature Pedagogies in Sport and Exercise Science workshop.